Apartment search in Germany: tips and Tricks

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Around eight million people move each year in Germany. One of them is: DW-reporter Cristina Burack. Your move, the American has experienced some Surprises. A Report On My Experience.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Germany: the Land of the tenants

    On the residential market in Germany a house or apartment for rent is still the most popular. Condos are not the rule here. According to statistics, only 42 percent in 2018, owners, by contrast, 58 percent of the tenants of her apartment. This is the lowest property rate in the entire EU. Top of the list is Romania: Here, 96 percent own their house or apartment.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Where does the penchant for Rent

    After the Second world war, the majority of houses was destroyed in Germany. It was a time of great housing shortage. Private capital, there was little, therefore, the construction of social housing in Western Germany has been strongly promoted. In the GDR, the property was privately as a capitalist and was frowned upon. Although the majority of the German people still lives on rent, but the Trend for condominium apartment takes.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Tip: Rent index check

    Those who rent a new apartment, you should be careful not to pay excessive rent. In Germany there are for each town, an official “Mietspiegel” contains information about how high the average rent is. However, given the housing shortage, landlords often require much more: the end of 2018, tenant in Munich had to pay up to 17,56 Euro per square meter.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    The battle for the coveted apartment

    If you want to rent an apartment or a house, then prepare yourself for a type of Talent contest. You need to bring as the ideal tenant into the game. They will ask you personal things and your life habits, want to know also your credit rating. Questions as to nationality or family planning, are actually not allowed, but anyway.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Special feature: Hot and cold rent

    A rent can be warm or cold. Rent you only pay for the space, while rent usually includes the Heating, electricity and water. If the tenant pays these costs directly, or the landlord refunded, depends on the lease agreement. Administrative costs are also a part of the rent.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Deposit is Standard

    At the start of the rental will be demanded from the tenant to leave a Deposit. After the end of the rental period, you will be returned to you then bear interest, less any identified damage or outstanding operating costs. Sometimes you have to pay the Deposit for the next apartment, before you get the previous one back.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Rented is Unfurnished in the rule

    Newcomers to the German real estate market may be baffled, but for rent offered houses and apartments are Unfurnished in Germany mostly complete, even without a stove and a fridge. Sometimes you can acquire the kitchen of the previous tenant due to a tee. Otherwise, you have to be prepared to buy your own.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Parking clarify

    On the day of moving with a self-painted signs, the rare and Parking is free, and then with the moving truck to Park directly in front of the house, not in Germany of course. You need a permit from the local authority. In addition, you have to leave right after the move to its new address at the residents registration office.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Welcome home!

    Apartment found. Check! Moved. Check! Kitchen installed. Check! Now it’s time for a housewarming party. So the Germans would like to thank all that have helped in the move, get to know the neighbors and showcase your new home. Traditionally, the guests bring bread and salt. To bring happiness and blessing.

    Author: Cristina Burack (hm)


  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Germany: the Land of the tenants

    On the residential market in Germany a house or apartment for rent is still the most popular. Condos are not the rule here. According to statistics, only 42 percent in 2018, owners, by contrast, 58 percent of the tenants of her apartment. This is the lowest property rate in the entire EU. Top of the list is Romania: Here, 96 percent own their house or apartment.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Where does the penchant for Rent

    After the Second world war, the majority of houses was destroyed in Germany. It was a time of great housing shortage. Private capital, there was little, therefore, the construction of social housing in Western Germany has been strongly promoted. In the GDR, the property was privately as a capitalist and was frowned upon. Although the majority of the German people still lives on rent, but the Trend for condominium apartment takes.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Tip: Rent index check

    Those who rent a new apartment, you should be careful not to pay excessive rent. In Germany there are for each town, an official “Mietspiegel” contains information about how high the average rent is. However, given the housing shortage, landlords often require much more: the end of 2018, tenant in Munich had to pay up to 17,56 Euro per square meter.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    The battle for the coveted apartment

    If you want to rent an apartment or a house, then prepare yourself for a type of Talent contest. You need to bring as the ideal tenant into the game. They will ask you personal things and your life habits, want to know also your credit rating. Questions as to nationality or family planning, are actually not allowed, but anyway.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Special feature: Hot and cold rent

    A rent can be warm or cold. Rent you only pay for the space, while rent usually includes the Heating, electricity and water. If the tenant pays these costs directly, or the landlord refunded, depends on the lease agreement. Administrative costs are also a part of the rent.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Deposit is Standard

    At the start of the rental will be demanded from the tenant to leave a Deposit. After the end of the rental period, you will be returned to you then bear interest, less any identified damage or outstanding operating costs. Sometimes you have to pay the Deposit for the next apartment, before you get the previous one back.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Rented is Unfurnished in the rule

    Newcomers to the German real estate market may be baffled, but for rent offered houses and apartments are Unfurnished in Germany mostly complete, even without a stove and a fridge. Sometimes you can acquire the kitchen of the previous tenant due to a tee. Otherwise, you have to be prepared to buy your own.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Parking clarify

    On the day of moving with a self-painted signs, the rare and Parking is free, and then with the moving truck to Park directly in front of the house, not in Germany of course. You need a permit from the local authority. In addition, you have to leave right after the move to its new address at the residents registration office.

  • The strange moving habits of the Germans

    Welcome home!

    Apartment found. Check! Moved. Check! Kitchen installed. Check! Now it’s time for a housewarming party. So the Germans would like to thank all that have helped in the move, get to know the neighbors and showcase your new home. Traditionally, the guests bring bread and salt. To bring happiness and blessing.

    Author: Cristina Burack (hm)


No stove, no oven, no fridge – and sometimes even no sink. In such a flat, in Germany, if you want to rent – out. For many people, the search for the first Time, an apartment in Germany, it is a shock. For me anyway it was the from all.

To rent an Unfurnished apartment, and even without the kitchen, for me it was a No-Go. I was ready to rent the kitchen by the landlord – that is, to pay every month a little more, to be able to use the built-in kitchen use. I was ready to buy the kitchen from the previous tenant – after all, that would also be in his interest, because he would not have to tear out all the cabinets and drawers when you move out and dispose of it.

I just didn’t want to select measure, new faucets, order, to wait for delivery, install, and then, with the inevitable result of life, not something fits – all can only prepare to weeks after the entry of a warm meal!

Oh, and one more thing: Sometimes you have to sit at the beginning, even in the dark, as in Unfurnished apartments, often not even a light bulb from the ceiling dangles.

DW-author Cristina Burack has now found an apartment and wishes to all in finding a lot of success!

A nation of do-it-yourselfers

The Germans are efficient people, when it comes to your own home. According to a study by the German Post renovate and Potter, 54 percent of Germans in the own four walls. This willingness to change the own habitat, I have seen, particularly in the case of apartment tours, where many people participate at the same time. Everyone except me seemed to be having a custom stock fitted, to measure whether or not your stove will fit in the niche, or how much space you would save with a high bed.

Other potential tenants have also asked for the size of the apartment in square meters, to nod, and then in the affirmative and stated the following: “really Feels larger than 45 square meters.” I had no instinct for this kind of room measurement, but after I saw numerous apartments, I started to get a rough idea of how big an apartment could be, if I read the naked Figures in square meters in the display.

Exploding Rent, to find a lack of housing: An apartment in Germany, is not so easy

What I quickly learned, was the room description. While in the United States in General, a two-bedroom apartment means that there are two bedrooms, can be found in Germany, simply two-room, whether bedroom or living room. It was quickly clear to me that the number of rooms is not listed according to type of use: A three room apartment means there are three rooms that can make use of all tenants at will.

Warm or cold rent?

Not so easy the meaning of the word rent, because there are two types: “warm” and “cold”. The cold rent is the price you pay alone for the area. The rent includes heating, electricity and water, as well as other ancillary costs such as property management fees, house and stairs cleaning, and garbage disposal.

And then the Internet there connection: I recommend you to take care of at an early stage of it. Ideal months way in advance. I would even tackle rates, it is, before you even know you want to move! I had to learn it the hard way. The Internet takes forever, thanks to the so-called “last mile”. Thus, the last section from the distribution box to the house is meant to be connection.

The “last mile” is usually owned by a company, which rents the use of the line to a different provider. This company offers but in the rule itself access to the Internet. As a result, it comes to a conflict of interest, which is usually unfavorable for the competitors. And so the connection can often have to wait long.

After a move to Germany, it is mostly first for a while without Internet

In comparison to the digital move of the analog seemed to be easier: According to the Internet portal ImmobilienScout24, approximately 28 percent of the Germans to engage a moving company. I joined, however, the majority, and organized the move itself: I rented a van, promised to a few friends, delicious food and cold beer as a thank you for their support in the move to put a sign on the road, I apologized for the wrong Parking.

During the settling phase, I discovered that the German Post offers a practical forwarding service. So letters are delivered automatically to the new address. At least I get my Mail while I waited on the Internet.